Are you a “Sugar or Fat” burner?
The Ketogenic diet
The basic principle behind the Ketogenic or keto diet is to reduce sugar and carbohydrate intake, maintain adequate protein, whilst increasing your consumption of healthy fats, so you can achieve a state of ‘ketosis’. This describes the state your body reaches when it burns fat rather than carbohydrates as its main fuel source.
The keto diet not only promotes effective and sustained weight loss through improved fat burning, but it also preserves your muscle mass and can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels resulting in decreased sugar cravings.
Keto health benefits
There are many benefits to being in nutritional ketosis, some of these include:
- Weight loss
- Appetite control
- Better brain function
- Abundant energy
- Helps fight type II diabetes
- Helpful for autoimmune conditions
- Disease prevention
- Decreased inflammation
So what does a keto-style diet look like?
Keto diet staples include olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, grass-fed butter, ghee, some nuts and seeds, non-starchy vegetables, and moderate amounts of protein such as eggs, grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish. Here are some meal and snack ideas to get you started.
Breakfast: 2 poached eggs with half an avocado and wilted spinach
Morning tea: cucumber and carrot sticks with eggplant dip
Lunch: ‘keto burger’ 2 portabella mushrooms, grass-fed beef burger with a green salad
Afternoon sugar fix: ‘keto smoothie’ ½ cup coconut milk, ½ cup water, ¼ avocado, 4 almonds, 1 tsp chia seeds, 1 tsp cacao, 1 tsp coconut oil, and a pinch of cinnamon
Dinner: pan-fried chicken legs coated in coconut flour, turmeric and mixed herbs with steamed broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus, drizzled with olive oil
Dessert: 2 squares 80% dark chocolate
Important things to note
Ever heard of the “Keto flu”? This is a natural reaction your body undergoes when it switches from using carbohydrates as its primary fuel source, to using fat for fuel. Symptoms may include feeling sore, tired and lethargic. This usually occurs on day 3 or 4 and for some people can last up to one week. Not everyone experiences these symptoms, though if you do here are a few tips to get you back on track.
- Use pink Himalayan salt to salt your food. When you decrease the number of carbohydrates in your diet, insulin levels drop which means you don’t hold on to as much fluid. Adding Himalayan salt to your diet will replace some of the loss of important electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and magnesium.
- Increase your water intake
- Gentle daily exercise
- Increase you dietary fat. Your body still needs energy, so increasing your healthy fats will give you the energy you need.
- Drink bone broth. Bone broth is packed full of nutrients and has many health benefits. It’s perfect for keto as it can also assist in replacing electrolytes.
Stick to it! Once you have gotten through the first couple of weeks you will be feeling lighter, have more energy and will have wondered why you didn’t try the keto diet sooner!